Sunday, December 07, 2014

Truest statement of the week

Conflicts over the release of a long-delayed US Senate investigation report into the Central Intelligence Agency’s torture program have produced a deepening crisis for the Obama administration. Under conditions where the expanding repressive apparatus of the American state—from the CIA and the NSA down to local police departments—is increasingly viewed as illegitimate, there are growing concerns in ruling circles about the international and domestic consequences of the public release of a report exposing systematic criminality at the highest levels.
It emerged on Friday that Secretary of State John Kerry took the unprecedented step of contacting Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein directly to urge her to “consider” further delaying the release of the report. Feinstein, a Democrat from California, chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, which was responsible for producing the report. According to State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki, Kerry made the call “because a lot is going on in the world, and he wanted to make sure that foreign policy implications were being appropriately factored into timing.”

The implications for American imperialist foreign policy are obvious. The government of the United States asserts the power to invade, bomb and carry out “humanitarian intervention” and “regime change” anywhere in the world in the name of protecting “human rights.” Meanwhile, top military, civilian and intelligence officials of that same country are implicated in the gravest violations of human rights, as well as in conspiracies to cover up those crimes—and nobody has been held accountable.

-- Tom Carter, "The CIA torture report and the crisis of legitimacy in the United States" (WSWS).

Truest statement of the week II

My own guess is that the president and his team were not much listening to the young people in that room. The notion that assembly of politicians, aides, top cops and misleaders like King Rat Sharpton are simply unaware of what cops and prosecutors do every day doesn't pass a laugh test. Obama represented Chicago's south side in the Ilinois state senate. Sharpton cut his teeth on this kind of thing. These guys have been hearing horror stories of police misconduct for longer than some of the young activists have been alive. For their purposes, the day's participants were not much more than props in a production aimed to convince some larger audience that the same president who sent an extra 100 FBI agents to Ferguson MO just before the grand jury decision to gather information on dissenters was still fishing for facts on why there was widespread outrage in the first place.  
-- Bruce A. Dixon, "What Did Young Activists Gain From White House Meeting? What Did the President Get?" (Black Agenda Report).

A note to our readers

Hey --


First, we thank all who participated this edition which includes Dallas and the following:

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess and Ava,
Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude,
Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man,
C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review,
Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills),
Mike of Mikey Likes It!,
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz),
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix,
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,
Trina of Trina's Kitchen,
Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends,
Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts,
and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub.

And what did we come up with?

WSWS' Tom Carter gets a truest.
BAR's Bruce Dixon gets another truest.
Barack's so desperate, he's now ordering the kidnapping of women and children.
Reader Geena e-mailed to say Ava and C.I. had not reviewed a game show since 2005.  Is it true?  They said they had no idea but that they could easily cover a game show this week.  And they did.
We address the kidnapping of women and children.
Shampoo is one of our favorite films, probably our favorite film.  It has no slack, every minute in the film is needed and satisfying.  
Short feature.
Inspired by Elaine.
We wish all the 'peace activists' who whored after Barack became president were confronted in this manner.

What we listened to while writing.
IAVA press release. 
Repost from the UK Socialist Worker.
Mike and the gang wrote this and we thank them for it. 


-- Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava and C.I.

Editorial: Barack's non plan for Iraq leads to further shame

Last week Mu Xuequan (Xinhua) quoted US President Barack Obama insisting his 'plan' to address the Islamic State was showing  "slow but steady progress."

Try no and none.

But then we're grading on a scale of actual movement.

Barack and Secretary of State John Kerry have insisted Barack's 'plan' will take years to see fruition, years after Barack's out of office in 2016.

By that 'pace,' maybe movement has taken place.

In the real world, Barack's so-called 'plan' just isn't cutting it.

Paul D. Shinkman (US News and World Reports) noted some of the growing criticism:

"Aside from setting broad priorities, there’s no plan, no indication of progress, no measures of effectiveness," says Anthony Cordesman, a former State Department and Pentagon official who regularly advises leaders in both departments. The Obama administration tends to take too long to adopt serious military advice, he says.
“Events and reality certainly have to shape strategy,” says Cordesman, now with the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “But if you don’t have a strategy and clear plans, you lack the ability to shape events.” 

Apparently desperate for some action -- any action -- Barack has ordered the CIA to help the Lebanese government kidnap an Iraqi woman.

Saja al-Dulaimi and a child (or up to three children) were kidnapped.

The Lebanese military boasted she was the wife of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The woman was accused of nothing.

She may, it turns out, be the ex-wife of the man.  Or she may be the sister of an Iraqi male already in prison in Iraq.

She may be none of those things.

But, thanks to Barack, the US government is now known publicly for kidnapping the spouses or sisters of suspects.

That's not a good reputation to have.

And when it leads to blowback, all the little bitches and bastards who call themselves leaders or reporters in the United States will express outrage despite the fact that they've said not one damn word in Saja al-Dualimi or her children's defense.

Barack has brought shame to the United States.

A working press would be demanding answers as to when it became acceptable for the US government to participate in the kidnapping of family members of suspects.

TV: The New Password

TV rarely provides answers.  Hell, it doesn't even ask needed questions most of the time -- as any viewer of The NewsHour can tell you.

So it's an actual event when a TV show actually provides an answer.

That happened recently on the successful syndicated game show Celebrity Name Game.

The show started airing last September and the best way to explain it to game show buffs who've not yet caught it?

This is Password where no answers are phrases.  Instead, every answer is the name of a celebrity.

And two celebrities show up each episode to assist contestants.

Often, the two celebrities are Courtney Cox and David Arquette.  The two produce the show via their production company Coquette Productions.

Unlike Password, the rounds move much faster.  You better be a fast talker or an expert at giving clues quickly.

Or, like one mother and daughter team of contestants, have some strong connection that makes words unnecessary.

"Drew Barrymore" was the answer and, as Craig Ferguson pointed out, the mother and the daughter team got the name across to each other with just  "Ah!"

The quick rounds are for the best.

The show would go stale quickly if they spent, for example, 30 seconds or more trying to provide clues for the answer of Vanilla Ice.

Instead, the viewers less focused on the answer and more focused on whether the answer will be guessed fast enough.

Between rounds, Craig Ferguson often creates some nice moments with the guests.

Ferguson's the host and the answer there is because he's relaxed and funny.

But the real question is why he insists upon introducing himself, at the start of each episode, by declaring, "I'm your host, TV's Craig Ferguson."

"I'm your host, TV's Craig Ferguson"?

Does anyone really speak like that?

Maybe the character Troy McClure on The Simpsons but does any actual, living person speak that way?

It really bothered us, that introduction, until the sixth episode we watched.

In this episode a woman was getting clues from her husband.

One of the answers?

"Craig Ferguson."

As the woman stumbled around on the clues provided to her, Craig pointed to himself and said, "This guy right here."

To which the woman exclaimed, "Oh, no! Are you kidding me!"

She never got the answer.

Which is probably why Craig has to declare, "I'm your host, TV's Craig Ferguson," at the start of each episode.

After that predictable moment, however, you never know what's going to happen next and why this show is quickly become the first real real hit new daytime game show since Win, Lose or Draw.


Jim: It's roundtable time. In fact, we're overdue for one. There's no theme and we're working the e-mails, remember our e-mail address is  Participating in our roundtable are  The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava, and me, Jim; Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude; Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man; C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review; Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills); Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix; Mike of Mikey Likes It!; Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz); Ruth of Ruth's Report; Trina of Trina's Kitchen; Wally of The Daily Jot; Marcia of SICKOFITRDLZ; Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends; Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub. Betty's kids did the illustration. You are reading a rush transcript.


Jim (Con't): First off, Ava and C.I., what  is on your faces?

Ava: We're on the road constantly speaking out against the wars and the spying, we were in DC, Virginia, Boston and Florida this past week and now back in California.  The winter weather -- and the difference in winter weathers is wrecking havoc on our skin.  We've already done an oatmeal scrub and are now doing a facial with wheat germ, avocado, honey and egg yolk.

Jim: Okay, thank you for explaining.  Now it's your turn, Ann.  You wrote a popular post that was also seen as 'controversial' by some people e-mailing this site.  It was entitled "Black Agenda Report is going all niche programming."  Ty, how many e-mails?

Ty: 16 e-mails came in saying Ann shouldn't challenge, confront or question Black Agenda Report.

Jim: And the tone?

Ty: Some were out right vicious.

Ann: That doesn't bother me.  Nor another reaction we can discuss in a minute.  My point was that the Black community -- and this is a point former US House Rep. Cynthia McKinney and others have made in the last decade or so -- has not been isolated in the US.  We have taken great interest in the world around us.  I would argue we were the community that killed the White imperialism that George Clooney and Mia Farrow and others were calling for with regards to Sudan.  We were overwhelmingly opposed to the Iraq War.  There are many other issues. But last week, we learned that an Iraqi woman, the media says her name is Saja Al Dulaimi.  She and a child -- or three of her children -- were nabbed by the Lebanese army based on 'intel' provided to them by the CIA.

Jim: C.I. repeatedly covered this story last week.  But for those who've missed it, let's go to Jess for background.

Jess: Sure.  As Ann said, the woman is an Iraqi woman.  When the Lebanon government announced the woman's 'capture' -- it's kidnapping -- at the start of last week, they insisted she was the wife of the leader of the Islamic State and the the child, a boy, with her was the son of the leader.  They insisted they had proved this with DNA.

Rebecca: At the most ridiculous moment of the initial coverage, they were insisting they'd proven she was the wife with a DNA test.  The whole 'reporting' was ridiculous.  Sorry to jump in.

Jess: No problem. And we all agree on that point.  The reporting then revealed she might not be the wife of the leader.  Then it was said she was the sister of some Iraqi terrorist arrested in Iraq.  There have been reports that she and three of her children were abducted.

Jim: Thank you, Jess.  Okay, Ann, that's in the news cycle and you're blogging.

Ann: Right.  This comes into the Tuesday news cycle.  I blogged late at night Wednesday.  24 hours after.  And yet C.I. was the only one defending the woman.  C.I. was the only one saying, 'We don't kidnap.  We don't use humans as bargaining chips.'  And Black Agenda Report publishes the bulk of their pieces on Wednesday.  So I was so hopeful that someone would be speaking out.  But no one was.  It's okay -- even at Black Agenda Report -- to ignore the US government teaming up with the Lebanese government to kidnap a woman who's not guilty of any crimes other than a relation -- by marriage or birth -- to someone the US calls a terrorist.

Dona: I've got to speak up.  I didn't realize this was a topic.  But it is, and I need to put my voice out there.  Complete agreement with what Ann just said.  That the US government is not being called out for this is appalling.  Last week, as C.I. repeatedly touched on this subject and called out the kidnapping of this woman and her child or children, I was reminded yet again of why The Common Ills matters and how C.I. never blinks when something needs to be said.  This is appalling and disgusting and I was going to propose we address this in an editorial or report this edition.

Ann: And I mean, bless C.I., really bless her, but why the hell is always left to her?  Why can't these 'brave' men online -- and most of them addressing serious issues of politics are men -- why can't they call out kidnapping?

Wally: Well they do.  They do and so does the White House -- when it's the Islamic State kidnapping women and children, they're appalled.  But when it's the White House directing it, everyone seems to fall silent in the United States.  And, by the way, I'm fine -- just for the record -- with this entire roundtable being about this topic.  It's an important topic and I think we all need to get that across.  Cedric and I tried to do a post on this last week and just couldn't pull it off.

Cedric: Right.  Between C.I.'s writing and Ann -- Ann and I are married -- talking about it, I wanted us -- Wally and I -- to cover it and we tried and tried with no luck at all.  So we just ended up doing a post on another topic -- we do humor posts -- and then including C.I.'s commentary on this below our post.  But it's appalling and it's disgusting.  I'm sure Cynthia McKinney would say so if anyone gave enough of a damn about the soul of America to put her on the radio or TV.  And Ann's my wife but I would agree with her on this regardless.  When the White House is helping Lebanon kidnap a woman, Black Agenda Report needs to be calling it out.  It was very disappointing and, on top of that, last Wednesday's edition was one-note for the bulk of the BAR contributors and the outside contributors were phoning it in with pieces that were generic, my opinion.

Jim: As Wally indicated, this is a topic we all take seriously and I think we're going to stay on it.  But, Mike, let's take a twist real quick.  Ann alluded to something earlier.

Mike: Yeah.  Funny thing, Ann's post is "null"ed.

Jim: Isaiah, explain what Mike's talking about.

Isaiah: In this community, a number of websites -- Ann's, Betty's, Trina's, Stan's, C.I.'s and mine -- don't just have links on the side, we have links that show the latest posts on the sites.  That didn't work for Ann.  An hour after her post went up, she had reposted -- only she hadn't.  Someone had gone in and posted a 'null' post.  That means her website shows up but the post she had published no longer does in the RSS feed.

Jim: And this isn't an accident or a glitch.  This is done intentionally by someone or someones.  It's happened to most of us at one point or another.  Here, when it happens, we get an e-mail bragging about doing it -- an e-mail from an unnamed person.  It's happened to most of us.  It's always when you're taking on a left outlet or personality.

C.I.: I need to note something quickly because I get e-mails from community members who are worried all the time.  When Kat, for example, publishes a post.  It should show up on the websites that Isaiah listed -- the post itself as a link.  Sometimes there are a Google issues.  Kat had a post last week that never showed up on the links.  That's a Google issue.  At some point, Kat's post will show up -- in a week or two.  When it does, you won't be able to access it by clicking on the title -- the title won't be linkable even though it's on the sites Isaiah mentioned.  That's a Google glitch.  We're not talking about that.  That just happens and it's something with Google Blogger/Blogspot.  But a "null" post is an actual post.  Ann's post was being read for one hour.  An hour later, someone went into her site and posted a "null" post.  That immediately knocks out her post and makes it so that her site shows up on the sites Isaiah spoke of and on RSS Feeds as having not published.  That's different than, for example, Kat's post last week that RSS has never published and has it's not 'reading' as having been published.

Jim: Thank you for that.  Now Mike, the null posts.

Mike: We've been nice about it, we've ignored it.  But it's always a critique of a leftist outlet or personality that results in it.  This is coming from the left and it's not coming from the right.  We can, and have, said everything under the sun about the right and it's resulted in none of this nonsense. I think we were all outraged when it happened to Ann.  Her post was not that critical.  It was accurate, it spoke to disappointment.  Marcia and I, by contrast, are never as tactful.

Marcia: Right.  And Ann can be hard hitting, we're not saying she can't.  But this wasn't one of those type of posts and it really bothered us -- Mike and I and Betty -- because usually we can say, "Oh, well."  And shrug it off but, damn, this was just flat out censorship of anything that wasn't unqualified praise.

Jim: Okay, Donna's handed me a note where she explains that Ruth, Trina, Betty, Kat and Stan haven't spoken so to be sure to include them.  Ruth?

Ruth: It is disturbing to go to, for example, CounterPunch and Information Clearing House last week and find nothing on the topic.  This is a kidnapping.  And one is guilty for the crimes of a spouse or sibling.  If the woman has done something wrong, charge her.  If she has not, she needs to be released.  I have no idea why this is 'controversial.'

Betty: Because the US government is involved -- that's why some are staying silent. Another reason is because the White House was involved in this and the little babies can't call out Barack.  He's a lame duck who has repeatedly betrayed the left but the Cult of St. Barack will whore to their dying day.  C.I. had a great point last week about how these idiots worked themselves into a rage over a Republican calling out the sullen attitudes -- at a photo op -- of Barack's daughters.  But a woman was kidnapped to be used as a bargaining chip and they said not one damn word?  It's disgusting.

Jim: Trina?

Trina: To contribute something different, I'll note that the story broke and the US press asked the State Dept and John Kerry about it.  And then, after both offered vague words, it emerged that the CIA was involved and the press backed off and had no more questions of the US government.  When the White House, et al was assumed innocent, the mainstream press wanted their reactions and yet when the US government's involvement is known everyone clams up..

Stan: And some clammed up without any prompting.  Jeremy Scahill pretends to be a voice of truth and justice -- even though he's the trash that got punk'd by Samantha Power in 2008.  He Tweeted non-stop last week but he never found time to Tweet about Saja Al Dulaimi.  He really needs to admit he lives in the gutter now.  He's a Cracker playing like he cares about the lives of African-Americans when all he cares about is acting high and mighty.  He's as laughable as Nicholas Kristof -- or that's how this African-American male sees it.  He pretends to care about 'dirty wars' -- or did while he was pimping a book and documentary.  The same way he once pretended to care about Iraq.  But if he really cared about dirty wars, he'd be decrying the kidnapping of this woman.

Jim: We're going to need to wind down, I'm sorry.  So, Kat, you're going to get the last thoughts.

Kat: Good. I deserve them on this, I've prepared.  It was appalling last week to read the Associated Press normalizing what was being done to this woman treating it as normal that she would be used as a "bargaining chip," that this woman was kidnapped for that reason with the AP treating that as acceptable.  But there was worse.  C.I. was not the only woman noting the kidnapping last week.  'Human rights activist' and attorney Jerlyn wrote about it twice last week [here and here].  Unlike C.I., she never called out what happened.  She just wanted you to know the story was propaganda.  Now Jerilyn loves to ride her high horse and pretend to care about legal issues and human rights issues but she never once said it was wrong to kidnap this woman, she never once clammed the White House or the government of Lebanon.  She just wanted you to know that the woman, in her opinion, was not the wife of the leader of the Islamic State.  She couldn't call out what was done to the woman though.

Rebecca: Sorry but Jerilyn gets more stupid every day.

Jim: And on that note, that's the end of this roundtable.  This is a rush transcript.

Film Classics of the 20th Century


In this ongoing series on film classics of the last century, we've looked at The Player,  Dick Tracy,  How To Marry A Millionaire,  Blow OutYou Only Live TwiceSleeper,  Diamonds Are Forever,  Sleepless In Seattle,  My Little Chickadee,  Tootsie,  After Hours,  Edward ScissorhandsChristmas in Connecticut, Desk Set,  When Harry Met Sally . . .,  Who Done It?,  That Darn Cat!,  Cactus Flower,  Family Plot, House Sitter,  and Outrageous Fortune.   Film classics are the films that grab you, even on repeat viewings, especially on repeat viewings.

This go round, we're looking at what we believe is the number one film classic of the 20th century: Shampoo.

That's Lee Grant with Warren Beatty.  Lee won the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for playing Felicia in this film.

The 1975 film had been in the works forever and a day.  Like many Beatty projects, it had his attention and then it didn't.  Which is probably for the best because the timing provided the best cast imaginable.

Shampoo, directed by Hal Ashby with a script by Robert Towne and Warren Beatty, takes place against the 1968 presidential election.  Felicia is a married woman sleeping with her hairdresser George (Warren).  As he attempts to leave due to an emergency with a 'friend,' Felecia points out that George wanting to start his own salon should mean that he should meet with her husband Lester, a banker.  This is tossed our with a cheery desperation, as Felicia uses it as a means to hold on to George.

That's Jill (Goldie Hawn) with George, she's the 'friend' he rushed off to see.  She's actually his girlfriend and he encourages her to believe they have a future.  She knows nothing of his current cheating.

That's Jill lunching with her best friend Jackie (Julie Christie).  Jackie was with George in the past.  He couldn't stop cheating on her.  In this "George Is Great" scene, Jackie congratulates Jill on her success with George.  And Goldie expertly portrays Jill's fear that her bright sunny view may be mistaken.  Goldie also nails Jill's intimidation of Jackie's style and effort to copy it -- i.e. Jackie puts on her sunglasses so Jill does the same.

Jill's a model and is up for a shoot in Egypt.  She needs to know where she really stands with George because if this is the real thing, she's turning down the shoot; however, if it's not the real thing, she's taking the job.  She goes to the salon to get a straight answer out of him which is impossible.

Because he's a hair dresser, people like Jack Warden's Lester assume George is gay.  George is visiting him for a loan to start up a shop but Lester's only agreed to a meeting due to pressure from his wife Felicia.  He has no interest in anything but turning George down.

Then a visitor arrives.

Yes, it's Jackie. 

Much to Lester's embarrassment.

She's there for the keys.

The keys to the hideaway she's sharing with Lester.

He tries to shut her up by introducing her to George but Jackie notes they've already met and that "George is a great hairdresser."

Thinking George is gay, Lester asks him to bring Jackie to a party that night as his date -- Jackie's tired of being hidden away.  Lester dangles the possibility of funding George's salon.

While Jackie's all for the idea of attending the party with George so she can be near Lester, George has qualms.

He wants her to tell Lester that they were lovers first. 

Why is George, who's sleeping with Lester's wife Felicia and tons of other women, so concerned about pretending to be Jackie's date?

Because he still loves her.

They argue as he does her hair at the hideaway.

A note here, in the film George says he's doing too many heads and he's losing perspective.  This isn't just a line in passing.  He tends to give every woman -- especially Felicia and Jackie -- the same hairstyle.  Even when he fixes Jill's hair (not cuts it, but fixed it before the party), he gives her a similar look.

You need to pay attention to catch that.  You don't need to pay attention to catch that George and Jackie are still in love with each other.

George loves to put the make on women.  

He's not putting the make on Jackie, he loves Jackie.

Felecia wants George to do her hair before the party.  So he goes to her home.

That's Carrie Fisher making her film debut as Lester and Felicia's daughter Lorna.  She's especially curious as to whether or not George is gay.  And if he's making it with her mom.

She satisfies her curiosity on the first by bedding him and her mother's reaction when she finds them after answers Lorna's second question.

George takes Jackie to the party and Jackie's invited Jill who brings along Johnny Pope (Academy Award winning producer Tony Bill) , the man who wants to send her to Egypt for a photo shoot.

At the party, tensions swirl such as above where Jackie, George and Felicia make an awkward threesome.

A threesome that quickly becomes a foursome as Lester rushes over fearing the very drunk Jackie might expose their affair to Felicia.

Jill begins to distance herself  at the party.  Which is probably a good thing since she's the least shocked as Jackie, continuing to get drunk, replies to an elderly man at the table telling her he can get her anything she wants by telling him what she wants most in the world is to suck George's cock.

Having shocked the table with her words, Jackie now carries out her stated desire.

Which is when Lester asks George to take Jackie home.

There's an after-party to attend, with better guests and better music (Ashby will bring the use of music in this series of scenes into his next big hit Coming Home).  Jill will realize what a liar George is, Lester will realize George isn't gay and much more.

This is a comedy with rich textures and, we believe, the best film of the 20th century.

The direction is outstanding, the script is amazing and a finer group of actors have never been assembled for one film.  Lee Grant deservedly won an Academy Award for her performance but the truth is that she, Jack Warden, Julie Christie, Goldie Hawn and Warren Beatty all would have been deserved winners for their performances in this film.  Warden was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award.  Goldie Hawn and Julie Christie were nominated for Best Motion Picture Actress (Musical or Comedy) at the Golden Globes  and Warren Beatty was nominated for the Golden Globes' Best Motion Picture Actor (Musical or Comedy.) 

We love this film so much, we'll even provide links to purchase it (on DVD or VHS) or to purchase a stream of it from Amazon (Amazon Prime members can stream it for free).  The streaming choices include HD; however, this film classic is still not available on BluRay. 

Caught with their whats out

As has become a tradition with all of his (predominately) male Cabinet nominees, Barack celebrated his nomination of Ashton Carter for Secretary of Defense with a two-person circle jerk in the Oval Office.

There was a Mr. Biggles moment as photographer Pete Souza accidentally wandered in.

Following that, Barack and Ashton covered their dangling penises as Barack screamed for the Secret Service.

10 best albums of 1968

1) The Beatles' The Beatles (The White Album)

2) Laura Nyro's Eli and the Thirteenth Confession.

3) Aretha Franklin's Lady Soul.

4) The Mamas and the Papas' The Papas and the Mamas.

5) Jefferson Airplane's Crown of Creation.

6) Diana Ross & The Supremes' Reflections.

7) The Rolling Stones' Beggars Banquet.

8) Jmi Hendrix's Electric Ladyland.

9) Diana Ross & The Supremes' Diana Ross & The Supremes Sing and Perform Funny Girl. 

10) The Doors' Waiting for the Sun (tie) Odetta's Odetta Sings the Blues.

Video Confrontation

We applaud the confrontations of all fake asses.

For more on the hideous Franti, you can see our "Michael Franti's new confessional song 'I am a bitch ass'."

This edition's playlist

1)  Neil Young's Storytone.

2) Aretha Franklin's Aretha Sings The Great Diva Classics.

3) Ben Harper and Ellen Harper's Childhood Home.
4)  Stevie Nicks' 24 Karat Gold Songs From The Vault.
5) Carly Simon's Playing Possum.

6) Prince and 3rdeyegirl's Plectrunemlectrum.
7) Chrissie Hynde's Stockholm.

8) The Mamas and the Papas' The Papas & The Mamas

9)  Tori Amos' Unrepentant Geraldines.

10) Prince's Art Official Age.

Veterans Call on Sen. Reid to Bring Suicide Prevention Bill to the Floor

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America issued the following today:

Nevada veterans voice their experiences with mental health challenges

Washington D.C. (December 4, 2014) – Today, IAVA veteran members delivered a petition to Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) calling on him to bring the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention Bill to the Senate floor before Congress adjourns next week. The hand-delivered petition includes signatures of more than 59,000 IAVA veterans and family members urging Congress to help reverse the trend of 22 veterans dying by suicide every day.

The bill, introduced in November by Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) and co-sponsored by Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Ala.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Mark Begich (D-Ark.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), will help combat veteran suicide and improve access to quality mental health care.

“We’ve been hammering lawmakers on combating veteran suicide for an entire year and expect Senator Reid to bring the bill to the floor for an up or down vote,” said IAVA CEO and Founder Paul Rieckhoff. “Our country must ensure its veterans can access the care they need –- the care we promised them when they put on the uniform. Twenty-two veterans die by suicide each day. And time is running out. Our members are counting on Congress to act now to pass this bill. Senator Reid must stand with us and get this historic bill passed before Congress breaks for the holidays.”

The bill is named after Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran Clay Hunt, a Marine who died by suicide in 2011.
The bill is named after Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran Clay Hunt, a Marine who died by suicide in 2011.

Last month, IAVA surveyed its veteran members to ask them about their experiences with mental health issues. While confidentiality prevents IAVA from revealing any names, common themes emerged:

“As a veteran who has had good friends die due to suicide and having had thoughts of my own that lead towards it, it is extremely important not to sweep these things under the rug, but to address the problems.” – North Las Vegas, Nev.
“A veteran can feel very alone. Been there. I want to be there for my brothers and sisters.” – Las Vegas, Nev.
“As a disabled veteran who has personally struggled with depression and at times thought of committing suicide, I want all veterans to know there are people who care about them.” – Las Vegas, Nev.
“Have dealt with three suicides at my base within last 12 months … do not want any more lives lost.” – Nellis AFB, Nev.
“Every year I lose another brother.” – Sparks, Nev.

Since the beginning of 2014 IAVA has been a leading voice for the post-9/11 veteran community, calling on members of Congress, the White House, Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense to address veteran suicide.

In July, House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) and Reps. Tim Walz (D-Minn.) and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) introduced the House version of the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention For American Veterans Act (H.R. 5059).

The legislation, spearheaded by IAVA, is named after Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran Clay Hunt, a Marine who died by suicide in 2011. On Nov. 19, Clay’s mother Susan Selke testified before the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee that her son’s appeal for 100 percent disability for post-traumatic stress disorder was approved five weeks after he died.

And in late August, President Obama announced executive action on mental health for veterans and active-duty servicemembers. The executive action was created in consultation with IAVA and included new initiatives on raising awareness for suicide prevention, mental health research, pilot programs on peer support and more.

Also attending IAVA’s press event was Bonnie Carroll, President and Founder of Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS).

Note to media: Email or call 212-982-9699 to speak with IAVA CEO and Founder Paul Rieckhoff or IAVA leadership.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America ( is the nation's first and largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization representing veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan and has nearly 300,000 Member Veterans and civilian supporters nationwide. Celebrating its 10th year anniversary, IAVA recently received the highest rating - four-stars - from Charity Navigator, America's largest charity evaluator.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 - reflecting a radical mood against the system

This is a repost from Great Britain's Socialist Worker;

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 - reflecting a radical mood against the system

The latest Hunger Games film presents inequality to a mass audience, but remains pessimistic about how people fight back, writes Fran Manning

Jennifer Lawrence returns as Katniss Everdeen
Jennifer Lawrence returns as Katniss Everdeen

In the first film of the final part the Hunger Games trilogy, protagonist Katniss Everdeen, played by Jennifer Lawrence, is living in District 13. 

It’s an underground community of resistance fighters. Yet thanks to propaganda from the ruling Capitol,  it’s thought that they’ve been wiped out by the other 12 districts.

The inspiration for many of the post-apocalyptic scenes could have come straight from the US invasion of Iraq.

We see highly sophisticated weaponry and modern torture techniques, set against images of war-torn areas strewn with rubble.

Katniss is now the reluctant figurehead of a bloody revolution. The rebels are intent on the liberating the colony-like Districts from the oppressive Capitol.

But Katniss seems more preoccupied with saving her partner Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) from the clutches of the ruthless ruler President Coriolanus Snow (Donald Sutherland).

Her reluctance to lead partly dissipates as she witnesses more of the atrocities that the Capitol inflicts.
But her commitment always appears fragile.


Anyone anticipating a socialist message of revolution from below would be disappointed.

The revolution is directed from above and is highly dependent on a celebrity or even God-like leader.

Meanwhile, the exploited masses are portrayed as “sheeple”, who can only act when directed from above.

This represents a fundamentally pessimistic view of human potential.

But the film is based on the story of a revolution, and raises questions about inequality and the power of the media and the state.

It looks at the relationship between the two in a radical way that mainstream blockbuster movies rarely do.

And it continues to explore how our rulers use divide and rule tactics.

There is a subtle, but powerful scene where President Snow and his advisers debate the most effective way to delegitimise resistance.

Should they call them  “criminals” or “radicals” to undermine them?

The film’s popularity reflects the radical mood against the system and mainstream discussion of revolution.

That’s something that we should welcome and engage with.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1. Directed by Francis Lawrence. Lionsgate films. Out now


This piece is written by Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude, Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix, Kat of Kat's Korner, Betty of Thomas Friedman is a Great Man, Mike of Mikey Likes It!, Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz, Ruth of Ruth's Report, Marcia of SICKOFITRADLZ, Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends, Ann of Ann's Mega Dub, Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts and Wally of The Daily Jot. Unless otherwise noted, we picked all highlights.

"No outrage still over Lebanon kidnapping a woman a..." -- most requested highlight of the week. 

"Iraq snapshot" -- C.I. reports on Congress.

 "Idiot of the week" -- Mike picks the winner.

"Are there any Blacks on CBS?,"  and "state of affairs: who is syd?"  -- Rebecca, Betty, Ann, Mike, Stan, Elaine and Ruth cover TV.

"Cup of Ramen in the Kitchen" -- Trina offers ways to spruce it up.

"Great Billy Carter's Ghost!" -- Isaiah dips into the archives.

"The Washington Post is in a position to lecture?" -- Marcia asks a needed question.

"The failed promise of Kristen Wiig" -- Stan goes to the movies. 

 "Who will play his lovers?" and "THIS JUST IN! BARRY AND HIS BOYS ON FILM!" -- Cedric and Wally on the upcoming film.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Poll1 { display:none; }